An interview from the 2023 NAB Show in Las Vegas with Kristina Uhlitz of Riedel. Riedel Communications, founded in 1987, designs, manufactures and distributes innovative real-time networks for video, audio and communications. Its products are used for broadcast, pro-audio, event, sports, theater and security applications worldwide.

Building upon the technology that powers Riedel’s SmartPanel app-driven user interfaces, the new 1200 Series SmartPanels represent a quantum leap forward in workflow flexibility, power, and connectivity. Featuring multiple full-color multi-touchscreen displays, innovative hybrid lever keys, the ability to leverage apps for multifunctionality, and the ability to easily adapt to the various workflows in use today, these new panels are poised to allow you to work the way you always have while opening up entirely new workflow possibilities.

Completely new from the ground up, the 1200 Series SmartPanels are Riedel’s smartest panels yet. The SmartPanel concept decouples the panel’s capabilities from its hardware and turns it into a generic device on which customers can install different apps to enable different capabilities. With a Riedel SmartPanel, you not only get what the panel is capable of today – but also what it will be capable of in the future.

The 1200 Series Intercom App supports multiple workflows. Some comms users prefer a “Talk/Listen” workflow where the user chooses what to listen to from an initially silent panel. Other users prefer a “Talk/Mute” workflow that starts with a panel that broadcasts everything, with the users selecting which signals to turn off. Users can decide which mode they prefer on a per-panel basis. New features that further enhance the panel’s ease of use include Riedel’s Logical Groups concept. Logical Groups allow users to choose custom colors for the key labels or the LED rings around the keys. Each key label has an 8-character main label, a 16-character sub label, and user-defined icons. Other icons provide information about the state of each key at any point in time. The “open mic”, “muted key”, “incoming beep”, or “port busy” prompts are easy to read and understandable at a glance. Users can get as much or as little information about any given key as needed.

With the Control Panel App, third-party control, monitoring, and automation systems can be adapted to the SmartPanel‘s easy-to-use and highly intuitive user interface. Its feature set is surprisingly simple but incredibly powerful. Users can trigger actions in third party systems with the panel’s keys and rotaries, and get visual feedback on configuration status and changes via colors, labels, and symbols on touchscreens and LEDs. The Control Panel App is built on open NMOS standards for easy interoperability and scalability. Key to this is the NMOS IS-07 standard which allows the exchange of event/state information (e.g. the press of a button or the color of an LED) across systems of different vendors.

The Audio Monitoring App (AMA) enables operators to monitor audio streams while managing a production via the Intercom App. This makes the 1200 Series SmartPanels the only devices that can operate intercom and audio monitoring simultaneously. The AMA allows a direct connection to any SMPTE 2110-30 (AES67) stream available on the network – either dynamically managed via NMOS or in a static IP/SDP-based configuration, mixing the audio directly inside the SmartPanel.

The AMA can be configured via a dedicated configuration tool or a broadcast controller using the built-in API. In addition, the selection and management of monitored audio sources is incredibly simple and flexible. SmartPanel users can monitor up to 16 stereo/mono SMPTE 2110-30 (AES67) streams in parallel while a total of 256 Audio Monitoring Sources can be pre- configured and managed directly on the panel. Because of the SmartPanel’s intuitive user interface and its high-resolution LC touch displays, operators can easily manage the audio monitoring sources on the panel by themselves. With the Audio Monitoring App and the Intercom App running on the same endpoint, users will never miss an important intercom call when monitoring an audio source, as the monitoring volume can be dimmed in case of an incoming call. If operators don’t want to get distracted by calls, the inter-application behavior can also be configured to automatically dim the audio coming from the Intercom App when soloing an audio source. With the SmartPanel‘s high-fidelity speakers, the intuitive UI and the ability to manage the inter-app behavior, the AMA makes a separate audio monitor obsolete and enables users to save cost and rack space while delivering an improved workflow.

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